Le Mans: Racing Is Everything

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Le Mans: Racing Is Everything TV Poster Image
Go behind the scenes at high-endurance car race Le Mans.

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Positive Messages

This event is grueling and dangerous; participation requires guts and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A lot of the drivers worry (understandably) about the emotional toll that putting themselves in danger takes on their family members. But many are surrounded by encouraging friends and family and work hard to achieve their goals.

Violence

There's pretty frequent footage of cars crashing and flying through the air and references to deaths caused by the race.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The cars, racetracks, and driver uniforms are all plastered with logos for various corporate sponsors.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Le Mans: Racing Is Everything is a documentary series covering the "Mount Everest of motorsports." It may be a bit dry for young fans of the Cars franchise; as it delves into the history and minutiae of the race, there are no talking pickup trucks to be seen. Beyond that, it shows us exactly how dangerous and strenuous motorsports can be. These are real cars with real humans in them we see crashing, flipping, and, in some cases, killing spectators. It's probably best suited for older kids who love cars and enjoy seeing the real thing in action.

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What's the story?

LE MANS: RACING IS EVERYTHING is an in-depth look at the legendary, high-endurance race where drivers zip around France for an unbelievable 24 hours straight. The filmmakers embed with drivers and pit crews for six teams, all hoping to come out on top: Audi, Porsche, Nissan, Toyota, Rebellion, and Aston Martin. We learn about the history of the prestigious race, which started in 1923, and see how it has inspired generations of drivers (as well as actors/racing enthusiasts such as Steve McQueen and Paul Newman) to participate in this exhausting display of vehicular fortitude.

Is it any good?

Racing fans will likely be thrilled at the unprecedented access given in this documentary series. It really gets into the nitty-gritty behind building an effective driving team, as well as the conflicts between them. Le Mans: Racing Is Everything is a little slower going if you're not so jazzed on auto racing but still pretty cool learning about why a 24-hour race was conceived of in the first place (yes, this means they're racing at crazy speeds in the dark, on public roads!). It's also interesting seeing that as time marches on, technology is making a huge mark on Le Mans, from the new classes of cars included in the race (such as hybrids) to the inclusion of amateur drivers whose only previous racing experience was playing Gran Turismo on their PlayStations. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork in Le Mans: Racing Is Everything and how it helps the different race crews make it to the top. What other character strengths are important? What does it mean when people say a team is "only as strong as its weakest link"?

  • We meet a racer who started out playing racing video games and ended up driving a real car at Le Mans. Are there any video game skills you have that might translate to real-life skills? How is playing a driving game different from driving a real car?

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